While I was reading about new Vancouver start-ups today, I stumbled upon a business venture called Share Shed that was launched just in February 1st, 2015 by Daniel Dubois – a 23 year old Capilano University fresh graduate. As someone who is interested in the outdoors, the start-up’s tagline right away caught my attention: the airbnb for outdoor gears. Following Share Shed from article to article, I found out more and more about the intriguing Collaborative Consumption concept that inspired Dubois to launch this business venture.
Collaborative Consumption is a worldwide movement that empowers collaboration within community, advances resource allocation, and potentially could shape our economy into one with sharing practices. Businesses I can name a few that are based on this concept are Craigslist, AirBnB, Couchsurfing, Modo Car, Car2Go.
In her TedTalk about the Collaborative Consumption, Rachel Botsman gave an example to point out the obvious problem with material possession: an average power drill which is bought by someone is used for just about 20 minutes in its entire lifespan. “And the irony is what you need is the hole not the drill isn’t it”, Botsman jokes. In her book What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live that I’m excited to read (which I will borrow from the library instead of buying a copy), she wrote about the three systems of Collaborative Consumption: product service systems (example: Car2Go), redistribution markets (example: Craigslist), and collaborative lifestyles (example: Share Shed). These are golden opportunities that many global brands, start-ups, and public services can take on to innovate and make great impact to the world.
Botsman mentioned that the foundation of these systems is trust, which is already secured by online reviews from community members (example: Couch Surfing). Despite all of the economical, social, and environmental benefits of Collaborative Consumption, there are flaws arisen. AirBnB was upsetting many residences by letting strangers entering their buildings, and Uber was causing safety issue when anyone can be a driver in the system.
What are your thoughts on the sharing economy? Please share by commenting!
TedTalk from Rachel Botsman: the Case for Collaborative Consumption
Article – Share Shed: the Answer to Vancouver’s Anti Social Tendencies
Book – What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing
Article – The Rise of the Sharing Economy